RV Daily Tips Issue 1104


May 20, 2019

Welcome to another edition of RV Travel’s Daily Tips newsletter. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and small-space living tips from the pros, travel advice, a handy website of the day, our favorite RVing-related products and, of course, a good laugh. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate your readership.

If you shop at Amazon, would you use one of the links below to do your shopping? The link in the blue bar above also works. Thanks.

RV Daily Tips Issue 1104

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Banish RV slideout squeaks

RV Daily Tips Issue 1104
(Click image to enlarge.)

Many RVers have been driven to distraction by a squeaky slideout. There’s just something jarring to the nerves about this noise; perhaps it’s the same affliction that hits us when fingernails are drawn across a chalkboard. What’s to be done to exorcise those squeaks?

First, with your slideout extended, take a close look at the slideout support arms. If you spot any “wear marks” (like those pointed out by the arrow in the photo above), it’s a good indication of a primary source of nasty noise. Grab a can of spray-on dry lube. Shoot the wear marks thoroughly, then using a clean, dry cloth, wipe down the excess. Dry lube sprays are preferable to “wet” lubes as they are less likely to attract dust and dirt. You’ll also find it useful to shoot the “teeth” on your slideout mechanism if you have any.

Other anti-squeak tricks include ensuring that the squeak doesn’t emanate from contact between the slideout seal and the sidewall of the slide. With the slide extended, wash and dry the sidewalls, then apply the appropriate wax for the wall surface.  —Russ and Tiña De Maris

RV Daily Tips Issue 1104COMING UP
If you will be near Hagerstown, MD, on June 8 you might want to consider taking one or both of Mike Sokol’s classes on RV electricity. The details are here.

RV Daily Tips Issue 1104
Photo by @off_she_goes, Instagram

If you need somewhere to stay in Cottonwood, Idaho, look no further than the pawsitively amazing Dog Bark Park Inn, the world’s largest beagle (and also the world’s cutest B&B). Couple Dennis and Francis began making wooden dog carvings years ago, setting aside the money they made from those to make the Dog Bark Park Inn in 1997, a dog-themed one-room B&B inside a 27-foot tall Beagle. Reservations can be made online, and even if you can’t stay you’ll want to visit their gift shop and studio. Visit the website here and plan your visit. Oh, yes, Fido is welcome to stay too.


Carry an extra LP detector

RV Daily Tips Issue 1104As we have learned the hard way, RV gas detectors tend to start malfunctioning after only a year or two of use. These fun devices let you know they are malfunctioning by setting off a loud, non-stop alarm. To add to the fun, both times we experienced this was in the middle of the night. The gas detectors are simple to replace, so always have one on hand and you never have to travel without feeling completely safe. Here’s an RV-approved LP detector from Amazon. Thanks to Christina Pate for the sniffer reminder. She has more tips on her blog, Travels With Ted. 

Moving into an RV? What to do with all those pictures?

RV Daily Tips Issue 1104While your RV has room for a few pictures or one photo album, the best process is to scan the items onto your computer through a USB drive, an online service, or an external hard drive. For the old photographs, once they are scanned, you can bring them to your local historical society. The staff at museums love to take a family’s treasured photographs and preserve them for future generations. But first, you should see if any other members of your family would want the photographs.
—From RV Living for Senior Citizens: How to Start and Manage Full Time RV Living as a Retiree Over the age of 60.

Do you have a tip? Send it to Russ (at) rvtravel.com


RV Daily Tips Issue 1104
By @nelsontreehouse, Instagram

The coolest hotel in every state

Sure, we’re an RV website, but we all know how nice it is to sleep in a plush hotel bed sometimes, right? Especially if it’s inside, say, a cave? Or underwater? Or inside a caboose? Or in a tree house? Check out these incredible hotels in every state.

Check out the long list of great RVing-related websites from RVtravel.com.

A cup-holder phone and tablet mount that makes driving easy
RV Daily Tips Issue 1104This cup-holder phone and tablet mount adjusts to any size cup and swivels 360 degrees for any way viewing (perfect for navigation or game playing). No worries about sticky residue being left from other gel and suction mounts, and passengers can put their feet up and watch a movie or play a game on their tablet hands-free! Learn more or order one of these hands-free lifesavers here.

RV Daily Tips Issue 1104
Photo of this silly goat by Geoff Kass


A California winery managed to create a new type of wine by crossing Pinot Blanc with Pinot Grigot.
As a side effect, it reduces the number of times people need to get up to pee during the night.
It is being marketed in retirement homes around the world as Pinot More!

Did you miss the latest RV Travel Newsletter? If so, read it here.

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RV Daily Tips Staff

Editor and Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Managing editor: Diane McGovern. Contributing writers: Russ De Maris, Bob Difley, Gary Bunzer, Roger Marble, Mike Sokol, Greg Illes, J.M. Montigel and Andrew Robinson. Advertising director: Emily Woodbury. Marketing director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.

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Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.

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This newsletter is copyright 2019 by RVtravel.com

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John Koenig

One reason I bought the Super-C motorhome I now have is because I have access to THREE SIDES of the bed, just as I did in my stick & brick. Changing the linens and making the bed in the travel trailer I previously owned was a PITA.


Also… turn off the propane tanks when storing the vehicle unoccupied, right? (Boats can be floating bombs if the bilges fill with fumes, so we never leave ours unattended with tank valves open!) Your RV compartments could fill with gas fumes if there’s no openings to ‘drain’ fumes away. Again, open doors and sniff. Regular gas line and fitting inspection (soapy water) is the only SAFE way to be sure there’s no leakage hazard, assuming the lines and devices were installed to proper code standards.


We had an LP detector on our 30′ sailboat, priced like it had gold-plated covers and platinum wiring. The reputation of these units is that any sort of aerosol spray or strong fumes will contaminate the LP sensor. Ours died a sudden death, so we chucked it. It seemed far safer to use our sensitive noses (LP is heavier than air and strongly scented with wild onion fragrance, so a bit of sniffing in the bilge will detect traces of LP fumes before there’s enough to do harm.) Besides a sensitive nose, a scheduled routine of checking LP gas line… Read more »


My nose can pick up the smell of propane. But my sensor is also for Carbon monoxide which is odorless so I’m very hesitant to do without it when it dies.


Aerosol sprays may or may-not plug the the detector, depending on how you use them.
Aerosols should trigger the device as most spray cans use unscented propane as a propellant.


Not everyone can smell LP oderizer. Even if you do, your nose can get used to it if it increases slowly. Aerosols set off detectors because they DO contain propane. Get a detector.


LP detectors are good for a normal life span of 5 – 7 years. That matches my experience RVing since year 2000.

This is the first time I heard anyone claim they are only good for one to two years.

Gene Bjerke

I can change the bedding in the RV far easier than in the house. That’s because we have a Class B and convert the sofa to a bed every night. I made a bed-roll that I just roll up in the morning and unroll at night.


This entire morbid business model of building crap with a limited useful life is one dire reason this planet’s ecology is in trouble. There are pictures available which even the least interested in the topic can access showing mountains of plastic electronic junk just like those LP detectors piled high fuming away with no where to go. I and the lady here consider very long and hard before buying anything we feel will not provide good lasting value. Every time you throw something into that curbside tub/camp bin and the nice guy in the stinking diesel truck hauls it away… Read more »


Did you find a replacement LP detector that has a longer life?


No RollinStone, I did not. We have never had one fail, After fifty years of RV travel you’d think we would have . Here’s the explanation. Until retirement we’d never owned modern RV’s. I have restored (I spent a lifetime in the resto biz) many older rigs which we’d enjoyed immensely. I never saw the need to install an LP loss detector in anything I built. Maybe I should have. Maybe I should have never left the house either for fear of being run over by the getaway car! Our new Sunseeker has one of course and we’ll be keeping… Read more »


I’ve had a carbon monoxide sensor in my house for more than 25 years and it still works. But it is plugged into an outlet… I assume the sensor in my MH is connected to the coach batteries. A little perplexing that the MH will only last 5-7 years.


OPTICAL smoke, CO and flammable gas sensors really don’t wear out, but they can clog with dust. Any electronics slowly die of old age (I think mostly the capacitors?). So, the wisdom is to assume something has degraded considering the stakes of a detector failing to alert when real.

Radioactive smoke detectors actually DO wear out (literal nuclear degradation), so no debating there – but those are getting rarer anyway.


Upon further research, some CO detector elements DO contain reagents that degrade after 7-10 years or exposure to certain solvent chemicals. So, still wise to at least consider replacement each decade. More alarming (no pun intended) is that the actual sensing element in CO detectors does NOT get tested by the “test” button which only confirms the electronics and horn work. When the sensor goes “blind” it simply doesn’t detect anymore. Even more alarming, CO detectors are legally not allowed to alarm below 30ppm, and elderly/respiratory/pulmonary impaired folks CAN be affected by exposure at that level. If there is a… Read more »


I think the correct spelling is Pinot Grigio, but the joke was cute anyway !!!

Tommy Molnar

Dog Park sounds nice, but since I’m traveling in our RV, I will NEVER be staying in a hotel/motel. Seems to defeat the purpose of towing our trailer.

Bob p

One of the big reasons why we travel in our RV is so we don’t have sleep in someone else’s bed. You may think the cleaning service has removed all the unmentionables from the previous party, think how much the maid gets paid and she’s only got so many minutes to clean each room or she’ll be fired. To me that means she’ll surface clean or clean just what you can see at a quick glance. That means the sheets a pillow cases are changed but the rest of the bedding stays on the bed, that way the bed bugs… Read more »


Reminds me of the people who drive RV’s with bathrooms and they use the public restrooms.

Tony King

We travel/sightsee in our Class B Motorhome which has a 12 Gallon Black tank. More and more we are finding less free dump stations.I wish they gave Class B Motorhomes 1/2 off the Dump fee…..that totally fair. So that being said we use public restrooms when convenient and they are clean. I spent 37 years in Freeway Bridge Construction using PortaJohns so I’ve seen the worst conditions. It’s all good !


Hi Tony King. A little trick to get around paying to dump. If you check there’s many places you can dump for FREE. A good example is when we were visiting friends in Blackfoot Idaho last summer, they took us out to the Elks Hall for breakfast. It was over that meal I learned that right behind the building across an alley, a town operated ( I believe) facility was available for all to dump, completely without charge. We’re based in Canada, where at many town/city Halls (just phone, they’ll tell you if the service is near or available )… Read more »


Alas, I AM one of those people who enjoy a resort every now and then, even though we are fulltime RVers. And I am here to tell you that no matter how hard you try to park your RV in the downtown French Quarter of New Orleans, it ain’t happnin’! Thanks RVTravel for the great ideas. I’ll definitely be checking out those stays in a tree house!

Richard Hubert

Re: carrying an extra LP gas detector – – if these only last 1 to 2 years as claimed then carrying a spare is worthless assuming that it won’t last any longer either. Instead one has to wait until the existing unit fails before purchasing a new one with a recent manufacturing date so you’ll have some time on it. We replaced ours recently since our old unit ( original in our 2005 Winnebago) kept going off for no reason. Upon research discovered and heard that normal life span is 5 – 7 years. Also told to buy a recently… Read more »

David C

I understand what your saying, but wouldn’t the “spare” unit last just as long as the previous used one, once it starts being used? It’s not being used while in “storage” and therefore not wearing out until plugged in and being “used”.

t hartman

That depends on if they fail due to usage or that the sensor “ages”. I have never seen anyone claim why they tend to fail early, but they do seem to last only a few years. I wait until they fail to order a new one. I was an electrical engineer specializing in machine automation.

Richard Hubert

From what we heard their life span is from their date of manufacture, not the usage. Not exactly sure why but in our research heard from many that we should only by the most recently produced unit that we could.

Tom Wenzler

How about replacing alternate years, this will mean you will always have a good one on hand


LP detectors are said to be good for a normal life span of 5 – 7 years. That matches my experience RVing since year 2000.

I have never before heard anyone claim they are only good for one to two years.